THE TULIP FESTIVAL: A PRACTICE IN MINDFULNESS
I felt like the luckiest person alive as I walked through the wonderland of beautiful tulips with my mom in celebration of Mother's Day, bending down to take note of the intricate and delicate beauty of each flower.
Best part? No kids, no schedule- so no time crunch, just pure dedication to the present moment. Here's a bit of a virtual tour of the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival, in Lehi UT through my eyes. I hope you'll practice being mindful as you ponder and consider what that entails for you in your life and experiences.
I literally took the time to stop to smell the [tulips] and that made all the difference in my experience.
I got right down close and checked out the color blends, shapes and God's incredible design- and was just blown away by His great creative power and mind. I can't help but think, I am His child, His daughter. What kind of creative power do I possess on a smaller scale?
I called these lemonade tulips.
I LOVE their yellow fading to pink color scheme!
Another word for living in the present moment is mindfulness.
● Being aware of your surroundings
Easy to practice in a tulip garden with unlimited time, hard to do on a busy day, with a schedule, phone in pocket, kids tugging at you, responsibilities to take care of. Plus, being aware and taking notice of details is the trait I lack the most. It's my husband's best so we function as a team, but it bewilders him how unaware I am most of the time of my surroundings and what's going on around me. I guess as a mom, I've learned to tune a lot of things out. I definitely can practice that one.
●Living in the present moment
Also tricky as we are constantly thinking of what we did in the past and how we could have changed that, or worried about what the future holds, what's for dinner, solving world peace, etc. But even if I can just take a minute to bring my mind out of the past, out of the future and into the present, focusing and really getting mentally into on the task at hand or the person I am interacting with, I am achieving mindfulness. My biggest goal here: put my phone down when someone is trying to communicate with me and make eye contact.
●Calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations
This scene brought on a feeling of awe and grandeur as I stood before it, noticing the colors of tulips cascading down the sides of the water fountain.
This aspect of mindfulness can serve you well in healing from past difficulties when done in meditation.
Mindfulness can best be achieved during meditation practice
Many people who are new to meditation try to wake up just 10-15 minutes earlier to meditate in the morning before they start their day. I do it as part of my Miracle morning. I talked about that in my "DID YOUR ROUTINE CRUMBLE WHEN THE KIDS CAME HOME" post.
Also good for people new to meditation is guided meditation.
Meditation can be done even for a short time during the day. When my brain feels overloaded, I will sometimes take 5 min to put some earbuds in, listen to calming music and focus my awareness on all the mindfulness steps I just listed above.
Why take the time to practice mindfulness meditation?
It reduces stress. Mindful people understand their own emotions and those of other people better. This helps them to react to stressful events better and handle issues more calmly. I have noticed this in my own life.
Improves focus and productivity. One practice in meditation is to focus on breathing and sometimes a mantra or focus word or phrase. The objective is to not let the mind wander from being centered. This practice most definitely helps us learn to concentrate and focus in our daily lives as well.
Mindfulness meditation is good for your overall health.
Many studies show its effectiveness helping those with mental illnesses or conditions such as PTSD, Depression and Anxiety, even obesity.
This study showed improved immune function, super helpful to know during a pandemic.
There was also a Harvard study that shows several positive physical changes in the brain and other parts of the body after weeks of meditation, specifically helpful for those suffering from depression.
This beautiful sculpture in the garden's Light of the World sculpture garden, shows the best example of someone who was and is the master at mindfulness. Christ's Atonement was the greatest act of love and kindness the world will ever know. I often use meditation to draw closer to Him.
"Be still and know that I am God" -Psalm 46:10